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Category Archives: Family

The 3rd Annual Birthday Bash

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Sunset On Madeira Beach

We recently had our “2nd Annual Birthday Bash”.  It was held at our home, on Madeira Beach, Florida.  A good time was had by everyone who came.  It will be memories, Cathy (my wife of over 20 years)  and I will carry in our hearts forever.

The Birthday Party (a “tradition” started in 2010), became a three-day affair, this year.  We started the party as  a way to celebrate a few family members’ birthday, all at one time. It was an excuse to gather the family together and have a BBQ by the pool, topped off with a birthday cake.   It has become so much more. A “Birthday Party”, is no longer an adequate description.  It has become more  a celebration of, “FAMILY”.

This year, the party coincided with our vacations, so we were able to expand it a bit more.  My family recently relocated to Madeira Beach  (we previously lived in Titusville, Florida), so some of our guests traveled to our home and stayed at motels near-by. This allowed us to make the party a longer event.  This also allowed everyone to spend more time together and gave us all the “space” to do our own thing.  It was more of a short “Vacation Getaway”.  It was a stay-cation for our household.

RELAXING ON “MAD BEACH”

We started our party on Friday night, with a visit from Miranda’s  (our daughter) boyfriend’s  parents.  We sat on the porch and talked, drank and laughed into the night.  It was the first time, I had met them and I had a good time.  It was a very good start to a fantastic weekend.

SUN AND FIRE…WHAT I LIVE FOR

We spent the next day prepping for Sunday’s Brunch and afternoon BBQ.  If you want to be a participant in your own party and not just a caterer, I’ve found that prep time is very important.   I’ve learned to prepare platters, side dishes and  even pre-cook some of the BBQ items in advance.  When you plan an event, that not only takes all day, but in our case more than one day…you have to expect that your guest will not be present at all parts of your event, or even all show up at a set time for any one part.  We anticipated this and had a few extra appetizers/side dishes that we could put out throughout the days as needed.  This worked out best in the hours in-between our Brunch and BBQ on Sunday.  In some of my earlier BBQs, as I finished grilling…my guest where getting ready to leave.   This year was more pleasurable.  This was the next best thing to having the weekend catered.  We were cook, host and guest/participants.  It was such an enjoyable experience. Read the rest of this entry

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I’ve gotten very used to my new surroundings.  I love the view of the gulf, early in the mornings as well as late in the evenings.  I love the balcony view of the sunrises as well as the sunsets.  I miss being near family.  I don’t understand it.  I did not visit with them all that often.  I didn’t just drop by.  I didn’t drop by to  barrow a cup of sugar.  I knew they were just a moment away, just the same.  I miss it.

My sister recently reminded me of this with her face-book post “I spent my entire life searching only to finally find that everything I ever wanted and needed…..I always already had right in front of me…the search is over home is where my soul is….. “NO SH*T WELCOME TO THE PARTY!”, is how I responded.  It was an off the cuff remark at first, but I soon realized how true that was.


I Love My Life

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I Love My Life

As I start to feel at-ease in our new home…..

SUPERMOON OVER MADEIRA BEACH

I am starting to feel a renewed sense of vitality, hope and anticipation.  I’m starting to feel a little artistic, creative and appreciative.  I look around me with a sense of wonder.  I start to look back at the recent past and look in anticipation, to the near future.  I am entering a new phase in my life.  I love my life.

I start my mornings, on one of our balconies facing the Gulf, a cup a coffee/tea or orange juice in my hand and anticipation in my mind.  The sea salts filling my lungs, a perfect view of the sea-gulls shitting on our cars, or my wayward cat making friends with the wildlife..snakes, gulls, armadillos, and raccoons.  It’s a good thing he doesn’t have to earn his keep. I have a front seat to the sun, both morning and evenings.  I count my blessings, dawn to dusk.  I end my days as I’ve started them.

I am starting to count every minute of the day as my salary, and I’m willing to work for half as much.  It is amazing how our lives can change by just separating ourselves from the “toxic jobs, lifestyles or friends and family”.  A good “house cleaning” is needed every once in a while.  If there is a God, He smiles on me daily, and I smile in appreciation.

My life is not perfect, but I have the ingredients to make it so.

Back to the Real World

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My vacation ends in the morning.  It was a working vacation, because I spent most of it moving into our new place.  A couple hundred boxes later I am ready to get back to a regular work week.

We are all starting to get comfortable in our new place.  We’ve moved most of the trash out of our way, set up most of the rooms, turned on the utilities and essentials.  The groceries have been bought, the cats and fish have been relocated.  It’s starting to feel like home.The neighborhood has been explored and the neighbors vetted.  We’ve mapped our routes, to our jobs as well as the most important retail locations.

We have had our share of getting lost and learned not to trust our navigation systems.  The car compass and knowing where we are heading, has been the most reliable.  You are never truly lost, if you’re happy with your final destination.

It took us two months, to make the move.  Cathy and the handbook from her employer, made the logistics seem effortless, it wasn’t.  Cathy did a terrific job.  The moving company was awesome.  Our employers were cooperative, on the most part.  It was the perfect storm of fortunate events.

I was twenty years in my previous home.  I never planed to move again.  The economic realities changed things.  We are very happy with our new reality.

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I am at times amazed, at how grand life can be, I am never disappointed.  It has ever-changing opportunities.  The challenge I experience every morning, as I find myself on a brand new path, is a blessing.   The new sunrise is my starting gun, the sunset my new finish line.  There has never been a promise that life would be easy, but I feel you have to “help”, if you want it to be harder.

My life has taken on a new path.  I don’t know where it will lead, but my family has happily taken the road by my side……

We’ve Moved On

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Well we are in our new home.  We are 80% through unpacking twenty years of memories.

It has gone as smooth as we could have hoped.  I’m not going to say there were not moments, when we would have thrown each other into a packing box and mailed it to a far-way destination.  We didn’t.  We pulled together and made it work.  In five days we packed-up our house and moved it clear across this state and unpacked it.  It has been an amazing week.

The week was filled with some interesting twist.  I wasn’t sure about my transfer.  Cathy had to attend her AT&T annual two-day conference, in the middle of the move.  Meow, our beloved 18-year-old cat had to be put to sleep, and Kilo had to be “fixed” and d-clawed.  We had to figure a way to move, a 50 gallon fish tank and 35 fish (only lost 3 fish), not to mention the four cats.  The execution of the logistics (thanks to Cathy) would have made NASA proud.

I had a moment when a bucket lid and a fish hit me in the head during a very short stop on I-4, when I asked myself WTF.  We moved on.  Unwrapping a drain cover, the movers had wrapped in a half-dozen sheets of paper, made me scratch my head more than once.  We moved on.  Knowing that the neighborhood gathers across the street on the beach, to watch the sunset, every night makes me feel as warm as the sunset.  We’ve moved on.

Change It May Be Good For You

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I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately, big life altering change, smaller daily impacting change, minor physical change.  As a species we change or we cease to exist, we must evolve, adapt and overcome our environment.  Life comes at you from all directions…change does not always come from where or how expect.

As a family we’ve come to a cross-road.  Collectively we have a few major decisions to make.  A “not very small question”, we will have to answer is; where we will be living in the next year.  Geographical location is important to survival of the family unit.  Perhaps it’s time for that change.  It’s not a small decision, not to be taken lightly but one that many families have and do daily.